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Entries / General Plans for the Development of Petersburg-Leningrad

General Plans for the Development of Petersburg-Leningrad

Categories / Architecture/Urban Planning/Plans

GENERAL PLANS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PETERSBURG-LENINGRAD. One the first projects of St. Petersburg planning dates back to 1709-12. According to it, the city centre should be situated at Kotlin Island and was to be connected to outer parts of the city by sea lanes, as well as along the south and the north coasts of the Gulf of Finland. The construction of entertainment palaces and parks had to connect the area from Oranienbaum (see Lomonosov) in the west, to Shlisselburg in the east. But the idea to build the city as a huge agglomeration was not implemented and in the first decade of the 18th century, St. Petersburg was developed without any definitive plan. In 1712, after the transfer of capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg, development of the southern parts of Admiralteysky Island, Moskovskaya and Vyborgskaya sides began to occur. A special part was assigned to Vasilievsky Island, which Tsar Peter the Great intended to become the city centre. In 1716, the general plan, drawn up by D. Trezzini was accepted. According to the plan, Vasilievsky Island was to be intersected by a network of canals, and the Spit of Vasilievsky Island was to become the trade and administrative centre, where a large market square was intended. In 1717, architect J.B. Le Blond composed the General Design for St. Petersburg, according to which, the city was encircled with ramparts and bastions, and possessed a strictly symmetric plan. Le Blond's project had great urban planning advantages but was not accepted, and the city continued to be developed according to Trezzini's project. After the death of Peter the Great (1725) the development of Vasilievsky Island was given less and less attention, the municipal centre began to form on Admiralteiskaya Side. The fires of 1735 and 1736 destroyed the original development from the Neva River to the Moika River. In 1737, the Commission of St. Petersburg Development headed by architect P.M. Eropkin was created. It had developed the urban planning project for the central part of Admiralteisky Island, Kolomna, Peterbugrsky Island, Liteinaya Part (together with regimental settlements, as well as the design of semicircular square on Vyborgskaya Side. The plan set red lines of street construction; the houses were built with gaps between them, the number of floors increased from the centre to the periphery. By the 50th anniversary of St. Petersburg in 1753, an album with the engraved Plan of Capital City St. Petersburg with Images of its Most Famous Avenues known as M.I. Makhaev's Plan was published. It reflected the development of St. Petersburg with its three axes system of the centre and the radial planning of all the left-bank, and had fixed some projected ideas which have remained unrealized. The city development measures of the second half of the 18th century were determined by the activity of the Commission for St. Petersburg and Moscow Stone Construction (1762-96). The architectural part of the commission was headed by A.V. Kvasov, under whose guidance, a new general plan of St. Petersburg was drafted in 1763-69; the plan allowed for wall-to-wall facades for house construction without any gaps between the, dividing houses into classes according to which, the number of storeys was determined. In 1765, the downtown reconstruction project was elaborated (First Admiralteiskaya Part), which provided for the creation of squares in the territory between Neva river and Moika River. In 1766, the plan for the Second Admiralteiskaya Part was accepted; it provided for the establishment of the city limits by the Fontanka River, construction of bridgehead squares and the determination of suburbs: Liflyandskoe, Moskovskoe, and Alexandro-Nevskoe, the boundaries of which were located at the present-day Obvodny Canal. The commission developed a number of local projects. The Committee for Buildings and Water Works was formed in 1816. Plans for stone and wooden construction, prepared by the committee, specified where stone and wooden construction within the city could be built. A number of the committee recommendations were aimed at the transformation of St. Petersburg into a ceremonial capital city. The main attention was paid to the reconstruction of separate parts in downtown St. Petersburg, the creation of an integrated ensemble of central squares (Admiralteiskaya Square, Palace Square, St. Isaac’s Square and the Senate Square). Admiralteiskaya Square appeared as a result of the Main Admiralty building reconstruction by the project of architect A.D. Zakharov in 1806-23. The transformation of Palace Square was implemented in 1819-29 as a result of the reconstruction of the General Staff building by architect K.I. Rossi and completed after the reconstruction of the former exercise area in 1837-43 (architect A.P. Bryullov). The construction of the Senate and Synod building turned Senate Square into an independent architectural ensemble; St. Isaac’s Square took on its final appearance with the completion of the building of St. Isaac's Cathedral in 1858. The ensembles of Mikhailovsky Palace (1819-25) and Alexandrinsky Theatre (1816-32) according to Rossi's design, were connected to Nevsky Prospect, and continued the design of the main avenue of St. Petersburg. Realized and unrealized plans for the construction of city squares were not combined into the general plan but acted as the foundation of many urban planning ideas in the second half of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th centuries. Several local projects appeared at the beginning of the 20th century. The project of Tuchkov Buyan development remained unrealized (1913, architect M.K. Dubinsky); the New Petersburg Project was not completed in the west part of Goloday Island (1911-13, architect I.A. Fomin, F.I. Lidval). Urban planning of the Soviet period was heavily influenced by the perceived impossibility of urban planning in the era of socialism without a deep-laid scheme. From 1931, work was conducted into the development of the Leningrad General Plan, it was ratified in 1935. This work was executed by the planning office of Municipal Economy Department with architect L.A. Ilyin as project leader, with the assistance of V.A. Witman, V.V. Danilov, E.A. Katonin, and L.M. Tverskoy. In the plan of 1935, the idea of a Greater Leningrad with satellite towns was proposed for the first time. The main peculiarity of the plan was its orientation to city development in the south and south-west of the city. Moskovsky Avenue had to connect the old centre with the new one, which was planned to be located 10 km to the south, where the avenue crosses the Central Circular Ring-route, and where a square with a Council House was planned. In 1938-39, the general plan was revised by Ilyin with the help of architect N.V. Baranov. They decided to abandon the idea of the new city centre, and create a system of architectural ensembles connecting the historical centre with the Council House Square. The war interrupted the implementation of this plan. The new general plan of 1948 (architect Baranov, A.I. Naumov) envisaged both Leningrad restoration and development. The authors rejected the idea of creating the city centre as an extended axis and became firmly convinced that it should be situated where it had first started and developed. Much attention was paid to Leningrad access to the sea. Leningrad sea facade included the west extremity of Vasilievsky Island and the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland from Avtovo to Strelna - a kind of revival of Peter the Great’s idea to connect the northern and the southern coasts of the Gulf of Finland with the city centre. The general plan called for the restoration of Pushkin, Pavlovsk, and Petrodvorets architectural ensembles. According to the plan, the reconstruction of Isskustv Square, Mikhailovsky Castle ensemble, Lenina Square, etc. was undertaken. By the beginning of the 1960s, the general plan had been generally achieved. A general plan elaborated by the Architecture Planning Office under the guidance of V.A. Kamensky and A.I. Naumov (ratified by Cabinet Council of the USSR) became a new twenty-year integral program. The plan provided for the concentric development of the city, the creation of parks, embankments, and residential blocks on the southern and the northern coasts of the Gulf of Finland, in the west of Vasilievsky Island, and on Decabristov, Volny, Petrovsky, and Krestovsky islands. The general plan of 1987, elaborated under the guidance of chief architect G.N. Buldakov was meant to be implemented by 2005, and provided for the integrated development of Leningrad and the region.

References: Луппов С. П. История строительства Петербурга в первой четверти XVIII века. М.; Л., 1957; Баранов Н. В. Главный архитектор города: (Творч. и организацион. деятельность). М., 1973; Баранов Н. Н. Николай Баранов // Архитекторы об архитекторах: Ленинград - Петербург, ХХ в. СПб., 1999; Баранов Н. Н., Исаченко В. Г. Главный архитектор Ленинграда Николай Баранов: Творч. путь и судьба. СПб., 2001.

O. A. Chekanova.

Baranov Nikolay Varfolomeevich
Bryullov Boris Pavlovich
Buldakov Gennady Nikanorovich
Danilov Vladimir Vladimirovich
Dubinsky Mikhail Khaimovich
Eropkin Peter Mikhailovich
Fomin Ivan Alexandrovich
Ilyin Lev Alexandrovich
Kamensky Valentin Alexandrovich
Katonin Evgeny Ivanovich
Kvasov Alexey Vasilievich
Le Blond Jean-Baptiste Alexander
Lidval Fedor (Iogan Friedrich) Ivanovich
Makhaev Mikhail Ivanovich
Naumov Alexander Ivanovich
Peter I, Emperor
Rossi Carl Ivanovich (Carlo Giovanni)
Trezzini Domenico
Tverskoy Lev Mikhailovich
Witman Vladimir Alexandrovich
Zakharov Andreyan (Adrian) Dmitrievich

Dekabristov Square/Saint Petersburg, city
Dvortsovaya Square/Saint Petersburg, city
Iskusstv Square/Saint Petersburg, city
Lenina Square/Saint Petersburg, city
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city
St.Isaac's Square/Saint Petersburg, city

Луппов С. П. История строительства Петербурга в первой четверти XVIII века. М.; Л., 1957
Исаченко В. Г., Баранов Н. Н. Главный архитектор Ленинграда Николай Баранов: Творч. путь и судьба. СПб., 2001
Баранов Н. В. Главный архитектор города: (Творч. и орг. деятельность). М., 1973
Баранов Н. Н. Николай Баранов // Архитекторы об архитекторах: Ленинград - Петербург, ХХ в. СПб., 1999

The subject Index
Commission for St. Petersburg Construction
Commission for St. Petersburg and Moscow Stone Construction
General Staff Building
Senate and Synod Buildings
St. Isaac's Cathedral
Mikhailovsky Palace
Alexandrinsky Theatre
New Petersburg
Mikhailovsky Castle


Baranov N.V. (1909-1989), architect

BARANOV Nikolay Varfolomeevich (1909-1989), architect, National architect of the USSR (1972), the full member of the Academy of Fine Arts of the USSR (1979). He graduated from the College of Hydraulic Engineers (1931) and from the Academy of Fine

Eropkin P.M. (about 1698-1740), architect.

EROPKIN Peter Mikhailovich (about 1698-1740, St. Petersburg), architect, urban planner, architecture theorist. In 1716-24 on the order of the Tsar Peter the Great he was trained in Italy, in 1725 he was conferred a title of architect

Ilyin L.A. (1880-1942), architect.

ILYIN Lev Alexandrovich (1880-1942), architect, Fellow of the Academy of architecture of the USSR (as of 1941). He studied at the College of Civil Engineers (1897-1909) and at the Academy of Fine Arts (1903-04). He was a member of the Old St

Kamensky V.A. (1907-1975), architect.

KAMENSKY Valentin Alexandrovich (1907-1975), architect, national architect of the USSR (1970). In 1931-39, he taught at Leningrad College of Civil Engineers following his graduation from the institute; from 1941

Le Blond J.B. (1679-1719), architect.

LE BLOND Jean-Baptiste Alexander (1679-1719, St. Petersburg), French architect, expert on the theory and practice of landscape art, and engineer. In 1716, he came to St

Zemtsov M.G. (1688-1743), architect.

ZEMTSOV Mikhail Grigoryevich (1688-1743, St. Petersburg), architect, graphic artist, theorist of architecture, representative of the early Baroque. He studied at the Armoury Printing House School in Moscow. He worked in St